LightStream Personal Loans Review: What To Know Before You Borrow

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Our take: As one of the nation's leading online consumer lenders, LightStream believes that if you have established good credit, you deserve to have a simple process and low rates when you apply for a loan. LightStream offers customers competitive, fixed-rate financing and a fast, paperless loan process. You can easily apply for a personal loan from your computer or mobile device, get approved, electronically sign your loan agreement and receive your funds all in one day. If you want a fixed-rate loan for about anything you can think of, a LightStream personal loan might be the best lending solution for you.
  • Rates and Terms
    4.8
  • Loan Process
    4.8
  • Customer Service
    4.8
  • Funds Availability
    4.9
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • $100 loan satisfaction guarantee
  • Low, fixed rates
  • Autopay discount
  • Convenient tool for finding your rate

Cons

  • Higher rates without autopay
  • The lowest rates require excellent credit
  • Clunky document uploading
  • No phone number is listed on the website

What Is LightStream?

LightStream is a division of Truist — the result of a merger between SunTrust and BB&T. LightStream offers an attractive lending solution to customers with excellent credit. Borrowers can get funds for purchases that previously required collateral. LightStream has flexible borrowing terms and competitive fixed rates.

LightStream is a San Diego-based company that lends to borrowers across the United States. All of its services are completely digital, including paperless loan origination, underwriting and loan servicing.

You can borrow between $5,000 and $100,000, and the money can be deposited into your account as soon as the same day you accept your approved loan. LightStream is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.

How Do LightStream Personal Loans Work?

It takes only minutes to apply for a LightStream personal loan. To receive same-day loan funds, you must do the following by 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on a banking business day.

For Same-Day Funds:

  1. Apply for your loan on LightStream’s website. You will receive a prompt response within normal business hours.
  2. Review, accept and electronically sign your loan agreement documents.
  3. Provide your banking information and funding preferences in order to set up your loan.
  4. Complete the final loan verification process.

What Can You Finance With a LightStream Loan?

You can use a LightStream loan to finance just about any type of purchase or expense, including the following:

  • Pre-K-12 education
  • Medical expenses
  • Fine jewelry
  • Boat, RV and aircraft
  • Timeshare or fractionally owned property
  • Home improvements
  • Automobile
  • Horse and horse trailer
  • Tiny home

LightStream Restrictions

You must use your LightStream loan funds for the purpose you selected in your loan application. Here are some specific restrictions:

  • You may not use your loan funds to refinance an existing LightStream loan.
  • You cannot use LightStream loans to finance or refinance college or postsecondary education expenses.
  • Loans are only available to individuals, not businesses.
  • Loans are not available for cash-out refinances.
  • Your loan funds may not be used to purchase stocks, bonds or stock options or contribute to a retirement, life insurance or savings plan.

LightStream Features

Here’s a look at some of LightStream’s top features.

Mobile App

You can easily manage your account on the go with the LightStream mobile app, which lets you do the following:

  • Make payments
  • Monitor your account balance
  • Check payment due dates
  • Apply for a new loan

Rate Beat Program

LightStream will offer a rate that is 0.10 percentage points lower than a verified approved rate from a competing lender.

Loan Experience Guarantee

After receiving your loan funds, if you are not 100% satisfied with your loan experience, contact LightStream’s customer service department. To help LightStream improve its services, customer service will email you a questionnaire to fill out and explain your dissatisfaction. Once LightStream receives your completed questionnaire, it will send you $100 for your trouble.

The $100 guarantee expires 30 days after you receive your loan funds, and LightStream can discontinue the guarantee at any time.

Eco-Friendly Practices

Partnering with American Forests, LightStream plants a tree for every paperless loan processed.

How Much Does a LightStream Loan Cost?

LightStream offers fixed-rate loans. Simple interest accrues daily, based on the unpaid principal loan balance. With each payment you make, you pay down accrued interest, and the remainder of the payment is applied toward the principal.

Fixed interest-rate ranges vary according to the loan use and amount. The current range for a $5,000 new auto loan is 4.99% APR to 9.49% APR, for example, depending on your credit. The range for a $5,000 loan for credit card/debt consolidation is 8.49% to 19.74%. The LightStream website has a rate calculator you can use to research rates for the type and amount of loan you need in three easy steps:

  1. Select your purpose for the loan.
  2. Enter your desired loan amount.
  3. Select “See My Rate” for the result.

Loan offers, including APR, vary depending on customers’ loan purpose, loan amount, term length and credit profile. Before deciding to apply for a LightStream loan, consider the following:

  • Around 22% of approved applicants qualified for the lowest rate available between April and June 2021.
  • Rates are quoted with the autopay discount, which is only available before loan funding.
  • If you do not agree to autopay, rates are 0.50% higher.
  • Rates are subject to credit approval.
  • Rates are conditional and subject to change without notice.

Who Is a LightStream Loan Best For?

LightStream customers rave about the company’s stellar customer service. With a LightStream personal loan, you can have the power to negotiate the purchase of your next car as a cash buyer. Even if you don’t have enough equity in your home, or prefer not to tap into it, you can easily finance your home improvement projects with a LightStream personal loan.

LightStream rewards its customers for having good credit, making it a solid lending solution if you have an excellent credit history. Here’s how LightStream defines excellent credit:

  • A steady payment history with few or no delinquencies
  • Several years of varied credit account types, such as credit cards, installment loans and mortgage debt
  • Stable and sufficient income and assets
  • The ability to save, which can be demonstrated by having liquid assets, down payments on real estate, retirement savings and/or manageable revolving credit

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates and fees are subject to change.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by LightStream. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by LightStream.

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About the Author

Kathy Evans is a personal finance freelance writer and entrepreneur with a technical writing and instructional systems design background. She holds an MS in technical writing and informational design and is currently a doctoral student in instructional technology at Towson University. Through work experience in the federal government as well as commercial and nonprofit industries, she has focused her freelance writing on finance, investing and economic content with a specialization in budget coaching.  
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